Mage: Episode 2 (Part 2)

Posted by Peter Gates


Today the mages encountered their first glimpse of vampires and their first foray into the Supernatural politics in Sydney. Read on to see how it went!

Episode 2: Along Came A Spider (Part 2)

Game Session 5
The session opened with Oghma, Tanuwa, Jess, Malphas and Shiryo sitting at one of the tables in the Liberty discussing the events of the previous night. Jess had confirmed that the man smelling of vinegar did not work at the zoo but, with little more than that to go on there, the group opted to look into finding Sally, the girl that had seemingly died and then woke up again in the morgue before walking off and stealing a car. With a little help from Sally’s friends, Jess acquired images of her from her Facebook page along with a phone number, suggesting they could look for her by asking around. Oghma said that would be, mathematically speaking, a waste of time due to the sheer size of Sydney and the fact that they had little idea where to start looking in the first place. Jess also mentioned that she had spoken to her father, Detective Wolf, regarding the woman's disappearance but he was unable to help at the time, given that Sally had not been 'missing' any longer than a few hours.

Then, when Malphas brought up the idea of not even worrying about the whole undead (i.e. Sally) being controlled by spiders, Oghma said the very concept of that the woman was controlled by spiders absurd; it was far more likely that she was simply bitten by one and placed in a near death state that the hospital couldn't detect her as being alive. That, and he couldn't find anything about magical spiders in his grandfather’s library.

The discussion then shifted to the fact that the group still had very little idea as to why they could what they do, and just what their limitations were. Oghma had his theories, but there was very little hard evidence to back it up besides some old notes of his grandfather’s.

Moving the discussion back to the matter at hand, and seeing that no one else had offered any better options, Jess called through to Sally’s phone, but only managed to get her voicemail. A moment later screaming erupted from outside, spurring the group into action as to what was happening. Bursting out onto the street they saw a man viciously biting into a helpless woman’s neck, gorging himself on her blood.

The group moved to help the woman, Shiryo and Malphas driving back the man while Oghma bandaged the woman’s wound, Jess called 000, and Tanuwa used his magic to completely stop the bleeding. The man then tried to flee but was frozen in place by Malphas before Tanuwa tackled him and Oghma bound him using manacles created from some nearby steel.

Using her Time magic Jess looked back at what drove the man into a such a frenzy. She witnessed Sally injecting the man with some liquid before he collapsed to the ground and Sally ran off. A few minutes later the man awoke, stumbled to his feet, and ran into the street in a frenzy, attacking the first person he saw.

Meanwhile, inside the Liberty, the mages had secured the man to one of the tables in the break room, entering via the back entrance to avoid any undue attention. Oghma, Tanuwa and Malphas briefly discussed what to do with him before Malphas used straw to very carefully lift the man's top lip to see if he had any fangs, but found nothing unusual. Although Oghma concluded that it was still potentially possible this man was a vampire, and the fangs receded when not in use.

Malphas then woke the man and began his mental and verbal interrogation, and while the man’s mind was unlike a normal human’s, Malphas was able to navigate it well enough (Death 2). It took some digging, but he was able to find out the man went by the name Sil and seemed to be unaware of what he had done. When informed Sil panicked and said he had to leave, and quickly, at which point Malphas read his surface thoughts and found that Sil was terrified by the thought of being found by the ‘Sheriff’ and his ‘Hounds’.

At that point two men and a woman walked into the bar and began speaking to the bartender, Dan, asking if they’d seen a man they were looking for. Jess, who was now at the bar having a drink with Shiryo while the others worked out back, asked who they were looking for, to which the woman showed her an image of Sil. When Jess confirmed that they knew where he was, the woman used a supernatural ability on her, manipulating her to believe it was okay to show them to where Sil was kept.

When Shiryo realised what was happening he stepped in and the woman tried to influence him as well but failed. In response Shiryo tried attacking one of her bodyguards and only ended up being restrained by the other. Jess, who was still under the effects of the women's mental manipulations, continued to show the woman through to the back room. One of the Liberty’s bouncers came to see what was going on with Shiryo, to which the bodyguard responded everything was fine and let Shiryo go before walking back to the entrance.

Back in the break room Sil suddenly freaked out and tried making a rush for the door, surprising the three mages in there with his strength as he pulled the table with him. Malphas quickly stepped in and once again prevented him from using any form of motor control, causing him to fall flat on his face just as Jess and the woman entered the room.

The woman then attempted to influence the three mages in the room whilst asking them to release the man into their custody so that he could be punished in accordance with their own laws, succeeding momentarily with Malphas and Oghma, but Tanuwa’s will proved too strong and he immediately rebutted:

"I don't know what is going on here, but we're tired of being jerked around. If you want us to respect your laws, you have to respect ours. And from now on, this club is safe haven. If it's worth pushing us, and seeing what we're capable of," pausing as he stared at her, "Go ahead."

Seemingly unwilling to try the young mage, the woman left with her bodyguards, only to be accosted by Malphas. After a brief mental battle between the two, with each of them trying to dominate the other, Malphas was finally able to momentarily make the woman blurt out why the man was being punished: ‘Sil has revealed himself in public and broke the Masquerade, and for that he must be punished in accordance to our Laws.’ After she realised what she had been forced to say she glared at Malphas and stormed out.

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After the events that transpired earlier in the evening, Tanuwa was in the Liberty partaking in a few drinks from the bar while he considered what he had said and the ramifications, an older man with a thick beard and shoulder length white hair took a seat next to him.

The strange old man discussed the 'complications' that the young mage had introduced when he essentially declared the Liberty, or Saoirse Rogha (‘Sirshe Roha’) as the old man called it, Neutral Grounds to the Kindred.

Realising that there might be something else to the strange man, Tanuwa turned and, now giving the man his full attention, explained that it wasn't right that the Kindred could just enforce their laws unchecked. Whoever they were, someone had to stand up to them.

Inviting Tanuwa to join him, the old man stepped behind the bar and revealed the entrance to a magically concealed room. Crafted from old stone and wood, it smelled heavily of wood smoke and fresh ale. Occupied tables were scattered randomly throughout the room, a number of men and women dressed in varying garbs from all over the world talking, drinking and eating before a large burning hearth with weapons and shields of various designs, strange banners, and hunting trophies adorned the walls. The space seemed almost too large to fit in the space between the bar and the back alley behind the alley, not to mention Tanuwa could not recall seeing a chimney outside.

Feeling as if he had somehow stepped back into medieval times, the young mage stepped over the threshold into the room, sensing a strange change in the air that he couldn’t quite place as he did so.

Taking Tanuwa to an unoccupied table near the hearth, the old man offered Tanuwa a seat before they started discussing the visions that Tanuwa had experienced - visions of people that he felt he should know, memories that were his, but weren't. The old man revealed that he had also sensed a shift in the balance of things, as if the true course of Fate had been pushed off balance, and that the visions that Tanuwa and his friends were experiencing could be fractured memories from a time that was, or should have been.

Curious, Tanuwa asked who the old man was, and the old man simply replied that while he had had many names over the years, Tanuwa could call him Fjolnir the Wise, or Finn if that was easier.

Turning the issue back to the matter at hand, Finn offered Tanuwa an arrangement: he would declare the Liberty as Neutral Grounds – a sanctuary for any and all that seek it – and in return Tanuwa would act on Finn’s behalf as his enforcer, pledging his services to Finn within the purview of protecting the Liberty against its enemies, for all that entails. Tanuwa agreed, accepting an iron medallion on well-worn but sturdy piece of string as his symbol of office. Inscribed on the medallion was a rune that would later be revealed as being derived from the symbol for Odin, All-Father of the Aesir.